The ministers of education met with Human Resources Development Canada (HRDC) minister, the Honourable Pierre Pettigrew, today. The meeting took place in Halifax, where the education ministers were gathered for a meeting of the Council of Ministers of Education, Canada (CMEC).
At the close of the meeting, the vice-Chair of CMEC, the Honourable Roger Grimes, Minister of Education for Newfoundland and Labrador, stated that the ministers of education had discussed the potential for cooperation among CMEC, HRDC, and Statistics Canada in future international assessments. Such assessments would provide indicators to help improve education in Canada.
At the meeting, ministers of education urged the federal government to review the Canada Millennium Scholarships Program to ensure that its design and purpose are fully consistent with existing provincial and territorial programs. They also reiterated the high priority accorded by the provinces and territories to restoring the funding for postsecondary education. "Postsecondary education in this country has been affected in a very significant way because of the drastic reductions made by Ottawa over the past few years," said Mr. Grimes. "We communicated our position on these matters to Mr. Pettigrew in the strongest possible terms."
The ministers of education also raised with Mr. Pettigrew their grave concerns over federal cuts to the official languages in education, as well as the complete lack of consultation prior to the establishment of the Canada Millennium Scholarship Fund. "We expect Mr. Pettigrew to convey our message clearly to his cabinet colleagues," said Mr. Grimes.
CMEC is an intergovernmental body made up of the ministers responsible for elementary- secondary and advanced education from the provinces and the territories. Through CMEC, ministers share information and undertake projects in areas of mutual interest and concern.
Lara Inglis, CMEC
416-964-2551, ext. 256